Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip

Santa Maria-Style Tri Tip

Tri-Tip is a cut of beef that is widely available in supermarkets and butcher shops all over California.  It’s a one and a half to two and a half pound chunk of sirloin; triangular or boomerang-shaped and full of rich beef flavor, tri-tip can be cooked on a grill or in the oven.  If you have a sous vide circulator, you can also cook tri-tip with that method, which is what I did this time, with excellent results.   There is no heat on under the pot; the circulator heats the water to a pre-determined temperature and maintains it there.  It keeps the water in motion around the food, which is seasoned and vacuum-sealed in a bag.  The temperature for tri-tip is 130°F, and I cooked my two pound steak for four hours.  It came out cooked perfectly medium-rare and evenly pink edge to edge.  To finish the tri-tip I seared it on all sides very quickly on my gas grill.  After a little rest, we enjoyed the beef with the traditional side dishes of beans, salsa, and garlic bread.

It’s important to season the beef before cooking.  I use a recipe for beef rub that I found at the New York Times Cooking section.  Use any favorite seasoning but be sure it’s got lots of salt, pepper, and garlic flavoring.  If you’re cooking sous-vide you need only apply the rub immediately before you vacuum pack your beef.  When cooking with a grill or in the oven, it’s a good idea to season the tri-tip ahead of time; anywhere from one hour to twenty-four hours will work.

If tri-tip is available in your supermarket, purchase one today.  You’ll love the flavor and texture; just take care to carve across the grain, which changes due to the odd shape of the meat.  Any leftovers make excellent sandwiches.  Go for a tri-tip and bring the taste of California to your dinner table.

Santa Maria Style Tri-Tip

A rich, beefy flavored cut of sirloin, unique to California, gets seasoned with a dry rub and cooked on the grill, in the oven, or sous-vide style.  Delicious, economical, and easy to prepare.


  • 3 tablespoons Your favorite beef dry rub seasoning
  • 1 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 pound Tri-Tip beef sirloin roast
Read the whole recipe on A Red Binder